March 9, 2021
I am in photographer heaven!! Just a few months ago, Riley and Spencer made the difficult decision to change their big Athens wedding into an intimate, Charleston wedding instead.
If you’ve followed along with Michele Houston Photography for awhile now, you know that back when I was working at my office job, dreaming of being a full time wedding photographer, I wrote down a few career dreams:
The two first ones said: “Photograph mostly local Athens weddings” and “photograph one Charleston wedding per year”. This weekend got to fulfill this dream of mine for the first time! I brought my husband, baby, mom and sister for the weekend – Levi (my husband) and I photographed the wedding together while my mom and sister took care of our son! (Behind the scenes post of Charleston coming soon!)
This venue is called the Parsonage at St. Johannes in Charleston, South Carolina and I am OBSESSED with it. If you know me, you know I love Charleston. This building in particular is part of the Charleston Preservation Society that works to keep the history of Charleston intact. Every part of the venue was elegant, secluded and luxurious.
Riley and Spencer are locals to the Athens/Watkinsville area and met while working at Oconee County Parks & Rec Department. I say it allll the time, but couples that are best friends are the BEST!! They genuinely enjoy hanging out with each other and supported each other well throughout the wedding day.
Riley’s mom worked hard at fastening all her buttons, then stepped back and the reality of the day hit her when she saw her beautiful baby girl in her wedding dress!
I adore this group of ladies!
Oftentimes, the groom’s mom stands quietly in a corner because she doesn’t know most of the brides friends and family, but this tight knit group was different – Spencer’s mom and Riley clearly have a sweet bond, too. I loved getting to chat with her for awhile on the wedding day! I got to see my life fast forwarded as a future mom of the groom when my baby boy grows up and that gave me an entirely new perspective!
My husband, Levi drove the groom to the First Look spot, White Point Garden at The Battery in Charleston. Apparently these two bonded pretty quickly on the drive – by the end of the night, we felt like Riley and Spencer were old friends!
Their first look was so sweet!
White Point Garden is what you called a photographer’s playground. I was in heaven!
Back at the venue, we started off family portrait time with a First Look with dad and oh my gosh, it was the cutest!
When they decided to move their wedding from Athens to Charleston (due to the ever changing stress of COVID restrictions), they had to cut their guest list significantly. While I know this had to be so tough, it made their day sweet and intimate with just a few of their closest people.
I loved seeing the amazing marriages Riley and Spencer will be influenced by within their own families! They get to continue the legacy of strong marriages.
This little ceremony space was gorgeous!
There were no dry eyes for the majority of the ceremony!
When asked to say that he “takes Riley as his wife”, Spencer started to tear up (and so did everyone else). That moment is SO real!
They are MARRIED!
Their reception area was the PERFECT Southern Soiree look for a Charleston wedding!
Their reception began with a surprise video from their family & friends who couldn’t be there. This was one of the most genuine moments I’ve gotten to photograph during a reception!
Congratulations you two!! (I secretly wish we could do this every weekend!!)